You might be as confident with a polish brush as an experienced manicurist, but we all make flubs once in a while. And since polish is extremely difficult to remove, it’s important to act fast, says Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab: “The longer a stain sits, the harder it is to remove.” Here’s what to do when your polish winds up anywhere but your nails.
Place the fabric face down on a clean white cloth or paper towel, and blot with acetone. Caution: Do not use acetone on fabrics containing acetate or triacetate (as many synthetic fabrics do). It will melt these fibers. Rinse with clear water until the stain no longer transfers to the cloth or paper towel. Apply a prewash stain remover, like Shout Advanced Gel ($14 for a 3-pack, amazon.com), and launder as usual.
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Carefully blot up excess polish, then use an eye dropper to apply a small amount of acetone to the stain. Blot immediately and repeat until no more of the stain can be removed. To banish any stubborn excess, take a clean, white cloth and sponge the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent, like Guardsman Professional Strength Dry Cleaning Fluid Stain Remover Solution ($50, amazon.com) and blot until the solvent is absorbed. If the stain persists, use an eye dropper to apply hydrogen peroxide directly to the spot. Sponge with cold water and blot dry.
Carefully blot up excess polish, then apply a small amount of acetone to the stain, using an eye dropper. Blot again immediately, and repeat until no more of the stain can be removed. If you need to continue, use a clean white cloth to sponge the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent, and blot until it’s absorbed. As a last resort, use an eye dropper to apply hyrodogen peroxide directly on the stain. Sponge with cold water and blot dry.